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No Daley on ballot as Chicago votes for mayor
Question of the Day
The city’s first black mayor was Harold Washington, who was elected in 1983. The first woman mayor was Jane Byrne, elected in 1979.
The black consensus effort marked a return to the spotlight for Ms. Braun, who last won election in 1992 when she became the first black woman to win a U.S. Senate seat. She largely had been out of the spotlight since she announced a longshot bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.
But Ms. Braun made headlines when, after rival Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins wondered aloud at a debate about Ms. Braun’s absence from public life, Ms. Braun shot back that the reason Ms. Van Pelt-Watkins didn’t know what she’d been up to was that she had been “strung out on crack.”
Ms. Van Pelt-Watkins said afterward she had had a drug problem years ago but denied ever using crack, and Ms. Braun later apologized. But she often has shown sharp elbows during the campaign in exchanges with Mr. Emanuel and even calling a local newspaper columnist. Some polls had her stuck in single digits or the teens while Mr. Emanuel scored well above 40 percent.
The other two main candidates, Mr. Chico and Mr. del Valle, have struggled throughout the campaign to get media attention, in large part because the fight over Mr. Emanuel’s residency took center stage. A sixth candidate, William “Dock” Walls, also is running.
Patrick Johnson, a 41-year-old carpenter, said he was voting for Mr. Emanuel, in part because he did not hear enough from the other candidates. “There was an inability to promote themselves,” he said.
Others said they weren’t impressed by what they heard during the campaign, particularly Ms. Braun’s remarks about Ms. Van Pelt-Watkins.
“That drove people toward Emanuel,” said Randolph Wells, a 46-year-old employee with United Airlines who lives on the city’s Southwest Side. He said he was voting for Mr. Emanuel because he thinks the former White House chief of staff is best equipped to fix what ails the city: “All that mudslinging, that split-splat.”
Associated Press writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this report.
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